Compare and Contrast Essay
What theme unites these two works?
How does each work relate to that theme?
How do these works compare/contrast? What similarities do you perceive? What differences do you perceive?
Why do these works of art approach that theme the way they do? Why are they similar or different from one another?
Remember to consider what you see (subject matter, form/visual elements) and what you learn (from art historical research into the context and historical significance of the works, as discussed in your textbook and in class).
For this assignment, take what you have learned about this kind of analysis and apply it to one of the pairs listed below the numbers indicate their place in the Global View textbook
58.6 Theodore Gericault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818-19 AND 61.9 Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, 1849-50
I suggest you structure your essay this way:
Paragraph 1: Introduction and Thesis Statement
Identify each work of art by artist, title (or name), and date. Give a basic overview of the goals of your essay. Include a thesis statement in bold font that summarizes the broader significance of the pair. Make sure your thesis is specific. The statement “these works have many similarities and differences” is not a good thesis because that idea can be true of almost any two works of art. What does looking at these two specific works of art or architecture together allow you to understand and discuss in your paper? What theme unites these two works and how does each work relate to that theme differently?
Paragraph 2: Compare
How are these works similar? Consider what you see and what you know from reading your textbook and learning about these works, their artists, and their cultures in class. Discuss form, style, technique, materials, subject matter, historical context (function, patron, religion, political significance, etc.), and anything else that is important to the meaning of these works of art or architecture.
Paragraph 3: Contrast
How are these works different? Consider what you see and what you know from reading your textbook and learning about these works, their artists, and/or their cultures in class. Discuss form, style, technique, materials, subject matter, function, historical context (patron, religion, political significance, etc.), and anything else that is important to the meaning of these works of art or architecture.
Paragraph 4: Conclusion
Summarize the significance of this comparison and your analysis. What is the point? What did you learn from comparing and contrasting these two works of art ? What is the art historical significance of this pair of works, as examined together?
Your essay must:
clearly identify the option/pair you chose and embed images of both works with typed captions (artist/culture, title/name, date) at the top of your essay.
be organized around a thesis that you put in bold font in your first paragraph.
examine the visual elements (form, style, technique, materials), subject matter and/or function, and historical context of both works of art.
be organized into paragraphs and have an introduction and conclusion.
58.6 Theodore Gericault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818-19
61.9 Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, 1849-50